Meet the Designer - AC/AL

AC/AL is a Parisian based design studio founded in 2013 by Amandine Chhor and Aïssa Logerot, both graduates from ENSCI Les Ateliers, Paris. Passionate about materials, craftsmanship and industrial manufacturing processes, the design duo strives to create timeless products that are designed with rigor, functionality and simplicity.

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How would you describe your working practice and style of design?

Amandine: "We are a small team, and we really enjoy being hands on with all steps within a project. Our working style is pragmatic and rigorous, the way in which we design is functional, simple and very much focused on attention to detail."

Aïssa: "As a designer duo we are both complementary and versatile in terms of our skills; so that we can work on each project together and be able to take charge of different stages of the development process. The constant exchanges that we have together, as well as our different points of view allow us to work dynamically."

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Talk us through your idea behind the Latte Chair, what was the inspiration behind it?

Amandine: "We wanted to revisit a classic chair using slats, from the "Chaise tout bois variante à lattes" of Jean Prouvé to the many you can see in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris made in metal. Slats offer comfort, lightness and a graphic angle, whilst often being easier to produce. With this in mind, we tried to propose a new version which was simple and elegant. The development of the chair with VG&P allowed us to keep to our initial drawings and embody the spirit of the chair, while still making it highly sustainable."

Aïssa: "The design of the Latte chair came about organically. The initial idea was to create a simple and light metal structure that would harmoniously support vertical slats, forming a seat shell. We wanted to create a visual rhythm by playing with the idea of solids and voids through the intersection between each slat. A simple yet elegant and comfortable chair."

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Are there any areas of interest you are exploring at the moment?

Aïssa: "The return of craftsmanship and handmade brings a breath of fresh air, but this doesnt prevent us from developing a new chair with an injected bio plastic shell! Each project is an opportunity for us to immerse ourselves in a new context and to discover different ways of working through our collaborations be it discovering other cultures, know-how or materials."

Do either of you collect anything of interest?

Amandine: "Books, stones and natural treasures found during our walks and explorations, and handcrafted objects collected from our travels such as tools, boxes and baskets, ceramics, musical instruments and weavings...we have quite a lot!"

Aïssa: "We like to collect simple everyday objects, especially those that give us insight into another culture. It could be a brush, a specific tool, a toy...anything that might be part of daily life. I also have a nice collection of board games!"

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What's your favourite material to work with and why?

Amandine: "I love discovering new materials! I dont really have a favourite."

Aïssa: "I don't think I have a favourite material either! I like materials for their design possibilities, wood for its ease of shaping and its sensitivity to touch, metal for its structural characteristics and the multiple ways in which it can be shaped, rattan for its flexibility and its natural aesthetic...each material is a tool of expression for a designer, it makes it possible to respond to needs and constraints, but also to express a sensitivity."

What is on the horizon for you both as designers, do you have any interesting projects in the pipeline?

Amandine & Aïssa: "Confinement has allowed us to take time to develop more personal research in parallel with our commissioned projects. We designed some mirrors in 2020 which will be exhibited at the MAD (Arts Décoratifs Museum in Paris), as soon as museums reopen. We also have some furniture pieces under development with the French brand TECTONA, another project with a Scandinavian manufacturer and we are currently working on a challenging industrial project in the field of professional cleaning!"

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